The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: Obama Heads to Florida to Tout Tax Cuts

by Newsteam Staff
July 19, 2012

Photo of the Day: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands in Bowling Green, Ohio, July 18, 2012 (Matt Sullivan/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands in Bowling Green, Ohio, July 18, 2012 (Matt Sullivan/Courtesy Reuters).

President Barack Obama is heading to Florida on a two-day campaign stop (MiamiHerald) to appeal to voters on debt reduction and extending tax cuts for the middle class. A statement issued by the Obama campaign this week said he would “discuss his plan to restore middle-class security by paying down our debt in a balanced way that ensures everyone pays their fair share and still invests in the things we need to create jobs and grow our economy over the long term.”

Declining confidence in the nation’s economy is the most powerful force influencing voters as the presidential election gears up, undercutting key areas of support for President Obama and helping give his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, an advantage, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. According to another poll by Gallup, more than one in four U.S. voters–28 percent–suggest creating more or better jobs as the best way to improve the economy, along with another 9 percent who would reduce the outsourcing of jobs.

“This focus on jobs as the cornerstone of efforts to improve the economy helps explain why both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney focus so much on jobs and employment in their speeches and as part of their campaign rhetoric in this presidential election year,” Gallup editors said.


Romney’s trip to London during the upcoming Olympics will include visiting the UK’s banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions (WashPost), some of which are embroiled in the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

By appearing at a July 26 fundraising reception and dinner hosted by representatives of these institutions, Romney risks associating his campaign with the unfolding scandal, write the Post‘s Philip Rucker and Dan Eggen. The Libor case focuses on banks that manipulated the London interbank offered rate (Libor), the benchmark interest rate based on the rates at which banks lend unsecured funds to each other on the London interbank market and which many banks worldwide use as a base rate for setting interest rates on consumer and corporate loans.

One of the event’s co-chairs is Patrick Durkin, a Washington-based lobbyist for Barclays, which agreed last month to pay $453 million to settle allegations that it manipulated Libor before and after the financial crisis. Earlier this month, the Boston Globe reported that Barclays’ chief executive, Bob Diamond, withdrew as a co-host after the bank settled with British and U.S. authorities. He resigned from Barclays on July 3.


Politico outlines the range of energy policies espoused by GOP vice presidential contenders, which include past support for cap-and-trade regulation as well as pro-offshore drilling stances.

“The former Massachusetts governor who once imposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions, spent money on green energy and proclaimed that a coal-fired power plant ‘kills people’ may be looking for some backup with conservative voters” with his vice presidential pick, Politico’s Darren Goode and Andrew Restuccia write. “That’s especially true in a campaign where offshore drilling, Energy Department loans, gasoline prices and the Keystone XL pipeline have become touchstone issues.”

– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor, and Brianna Lee, Production Editor

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